Travis Scott Moves to Dismiss Suit Over ‘Alright, Alright, Alright’

Travis Scott has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit over unlicensed samples, with the rapper’s lawyers claiming the allegedly infringed-upon sample — the phrase “alright, alright, alright” from the 1992 DJ Jimi song “Bitches (Reply)” — does not warrant copyright protections. 

Scott was sued earlier this year by Derrick Ordogne and Dion Norman, who wrote “Bitches (Reply).” According to the complaint obtained by Rolling Stone, the song’s opening “Alright” refrain has been widely sampled over the years (Beyonce’s “Church Girl,” Lil Wayne’s “Start this Shit Off Right,” and Cardi B’s “Bickenhead” are referenced as examples), and it allegedly appears on two Scott tracks: “Stargazing” from Astroworld and “Til Further Notice” from Utopia

Ordogne and Norman claimed they “did not authorize” the sample for either song. They also alleged that Scott effectively “admitted to the unauthorized use of ‘Bitches Reply’” when a “sample clearance vendor” contacted them about covering the sample for “Til Further Notice. (This was reportedly after the release of Utopia.) 

But in their motion to dismiss, Scott’s lawyers cited previous copyright cases, where judges have ruled that the use of “common, everyday expressions” do not meet the originality requirement for copyright protections. They said in this instance, the “repetition of the word ‘alright’ is simply too ‘common,’ ‘everyday,’ ‘trite’ and ‘cliched’” to warrant copyright protection.

The rapper’s lawyers called Ordogne and Norman’s claim “untenable,” saying their infringement allegation is rooted in “alleged copying of the word ‘alright’ in the three-word lyrics, ‘Alright, Alright Alright.” They continued: “But the single word ‘alright’ and the short phrase ‘alright, alright, alright’ lack even the ‘minimal creativity required for copyright protection’ both because these lyrics are too short and because they are commonplace, or stock, expressions.”

The suit proceeded to list several other songs that feature the same phrase, including the Beatles “Revolution 1” and Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting).” It also referenced a 2003 case centered around T-Pain’s “Put It Down,” where the musician was cleared of copyright claims over his use of phrases like “I can’t get enough” and “raise your hands in the air.” 


Additionally, Scott’s lawyers sought to get the case thrown out on jurisdictional grounds. They also alleged that Ordogne and Norman’s didn’t obtain a copyright registration for “Bitches (Reply)” until Jan. 31, 2020, two years after the release of “Stargazing.”

A lawyer for Ordogne and Norman did  not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment. 

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